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Morning Skate Quotables: April 17, 2019

Colorado leads the series 2-1 heading into Game 4

by ColoradoAvalanche.com / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Following a 6-2 win in Game 3 at Pepsi Center, the Colorado Avalanche remains in Denver to host the Calgary Flames in Game 4 on Wednesday. Colorado leads the series 2-1 and will head to Calgary after the outing for Game 5 on Friday.

Here is what some of the Avalanche players and head coach Jared Bednar had to say following morning skate.

Colorado Defenseman Cale Makar

On Having His Parents At His First Game: "I got to have dinner with them last night, see them after the game. Obviously, it's a very special moment for them. I think they're taking it in a little bit more than I have. They're enjoying their time here for sure."

On His Mindset: "There's nothing I'm too stressed about now, relatively comfortable. It's just going to be a thing where every day you get more comfortable. It's been awesome being with these guys, they've helped me out a lot.

On Playing Calgary: "It's definitely a weird feeling playing the team you've cheered for your whole life up until now."

Colorado Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog

On The Energy At Pepsi Center: "Anytime there is a scoring chance or before the game even started you could feel the energy and how electric it was. We really feed off of it in terms of O-zone play and you feel like you get an extended shift in there and it feels like everybody is behind you. Every time there is a hit, or a physical play, or a big save they are really involved and it is awesome to see. I expected nothing less from the Avs faithful."

On Expectations For Game 4: "I am sure they are going to be desperate and they are going to come in and give us their best game. They are a good hockey team and we have to make sure that we come out with the same intensity and same details and come out with reloads the same way. I honestly think our tracking and gap in neutral zone makes it hard for them to create transition and create scoring chances off the rush. For us it is a matter of coming up with that same speed and like I said, I am sure they will bring their best game."

On Having A 2-1 Series Lead: "It still makes Game 4 that much more important for us. It's a big difference going to Calgary 2-2 or going there with a chance to end the series. We know how important this one is, I am sure the Flames know how important this one is. For us, we will make sure we come out with the same speed and same desperation."

Video: Gabe Landeksog talks about the Avs' Game 4 approach

 

Colorado Left Wing J.T. Compher

On Having Home Ice Advantage: "The crowd was unbelievable last game. We really fed off it, especially getting that lead early. For us, we're just taking it a game at a time. We know how pivotal tonight is. Going up 3-1 going back to their building is a lot different feeling than the alternative."

On Colorado's Speed: "It's something we've tried to do all year, play with speed, play with pace. When we do that, it limits them offensively, keeps pucks in their D zone and keeps us playing offense."

On Maintaining Momentum: "I think we're happy with how we played the last two games. We found some stuff that made us successful skating, taking away their options, limiting their transition. So we're going to make sure to keep doing that tonight."

Video: J.T. Compher before Avs vs. Flames Game 4

 

Colorado Center Colin Wilson

On Colorado's Confidence: "At the end of the year when we needed it the most, we went 8-0-2 there in a span of 10 games. We know that we have it. We took a couple stretches off this season but we've always known that we have a great team in here that's capable of beating anybody every night."

On Game 4: "This is a huge game. I think they're going to be desperate to tie it up but we got to be just as desperate to get that bigger series lead. Things happen real quick, mentalities change quick so that's part of playoffs. This is just as big of a game for us."

On Colorado's Mindset: "Just keep playing our game. I think we've been an underdog all series, we know what it takes. Regardless of what they're putting out there, I know that as long as we bring our game we should be fine."

Video: Colin Wilson talks Avs-Flames Game 4

 

Colorado Right Wing Mikko Rantanen

On Seeing Columbus Beat Tampa Bay: "It doesn't happen often, but in the NHL it can happen. The differences are not huge and we're kind of in the same spot. We play against the first seed and we're the eighth seed so, we just have to get energy from that and keep going."


On Jared Bednar: "He's a great coach. He's really honest with players and he's still really positive, trying to bring everything positive. He gives us confidence, too. If you make a mistake, he's not going to rip you about that. If you it repeatedly, maybe then but hopefully guys in the NHL are going to learn from that. He's a great coach."

Colorado Head Coach Jared Bednar

On Playoff Experience: "I think our expectations are up, our hunger is up. We showed that down the stretch. We talked about the stretch run we had last year, and I'll go back to that. 2-5-1, we won the right games and got in. This year, 8-0-2 and we needed to be real good because of our down mid-season and we were. Guys really elevated their game and played with purpose and commitment and it's continued in the playoffs. It's going to have to get even better in order to continue to win."

On Game 3: "I don't think there was a lot different than Game 2. But we were winning some races, winning some battles and we had a real good attack mentality. I think the main difference is that we got a few more bodies in traffic to the net. There was more rebounds laying around, we tracked some of those down and power play capitalized on two of their chances. Not that we didn't create any chances in Game 2--you look at the underlying numbers it was okay--but we felt like we could do a better job there. The 5-on-3 helps you get one, and then we get a shot mentality on the second power play. We catch a break with a broken stick in front of the scene for another goal. We got to keep shooting the puck, you got to keep getting to the net, keep winning races to the pucks and the battles if you tie it."

Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar before Game 4

On The Energy At Pepsi Center: "It certainly has an effect. I think there's no question our guys enjoy playing at home. We have for quite some time, our record is kind of an indication of that especially down the stretch. The crowd the other night was amazing. It's hard not to get up for a game when your crowd's like that. You're hearing them chant even before we come out on the ice and the guys fed off of it. We had a good jump. Guys were skating, they were enthused right from the start of the game and the crowd plays a big part in it. When they're rooting you on in good times and bad, it makes guys dig in and it certainly did that last game."

On The Team's Defensive Mindset: "Our commitment to check has been real good. The buy-in from our team in the defending aspect of the game and why it's important and how it helps us on the offensive side of things. The guys believe in it, bought into it and they're working real hard. It's not a one-man job or a three-man job checking those guys, it's a whole team thing and a team belief. Right now, our guys set high value on that and it's paying off."

On The Second Line: "I think part of the reason why we can start him (Right Wing Mikko Rantanen) on the second line is because of the play of Alex Kerfoot. He's ramped up his game down the stretch and been an impact player playing with Mack (Center Nathan MacKinnon) while Mikko was out. He's continued it in the playoffs, he's quick on pucks. He's been physical, he's skating, he's creating, he's executing. That allows Mikko to come out of that injury. Game 1 was just okay, I thought he got better as the game went on. Game 2 he got even better and I thought last game he was even better again. So, Mikko looked like he was low on the puck, hard to knock off. He was moving his feet, making plays. Great goal, quick release. That's what we need to see. I liked a lot of what we saw from all of our guys last game but Mikko certainly was an impact player for us."

Quotes compiled and transcribed by the Colorado Avalanche's Miranda Einhorn and Dan Vatch

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